Fingers crossed the herd's 'Lanigan's Ball' drill is over
In this past month, all the cows and calves have been turned out to grass, brought back in again and turned out again. Hopefully they are now out to stay.
Like a lot of people in this area, when I pulled back the curtains on the morning of Wednesday, March 22, I closed them just as quick and then opened them slowly, hoping that the four inches of snow I saw the first time was only in my imagination and that the sun was shining and the grass was growing.
Alas, I was wrong. There was snow sitting on the ground and it was obvious all stock had to come in as quickly as possible.
We ended up keeping them in for five days, which, I suppose, wasn't too bad considering how wet the snow had made the ground.
One group of cows were on an outfarm and it just wasn't possible to bring them in. So we left them in the paddock they were in until the Wednesday afternoon, by which time the snow had melted and then we moved them into a fresh paddock.
Luckily enough, this was a dry piece of land so, while they absolutely ploughed the paddock they came out of, they did no damage in the fresh paddock. A week after we removed the cows from the badly poached paddock - by which time it had dried out - we rolled it with a Cambridge roller and it seems to have recovered 100pc.
One group we let out was a mix of cows that were scanned 'in calf' and 'not in calf'. After two weeks, we removed the cows that were empty and they hardly seem to have been missed by their calves. These empty cows will now be fattened on grass and will hopefully be slaughtered in June.
We let up our ground for silage in the last few days of March. We spread 4cwt of 24-2.5-10 per acre. All this ground had been grazed bare pre close-up.